More Lame Reasons to Supposedly Fear the Shutdown

Adam Goldberg in the Huffpo has 11 reasons why a shutdown would be "terrible" for me.   Many of these are absurd [sorry, left the link out originally]

1. HUGE NUMBER OF FURLOUGHS: As many as 800,000 of the country's 2.1 million federal workers could be furloughed as the result of a shutdown

There it is again.  Apparently the most useful thing these 800,000 people do is draw and spend their paycheck.

9. NATIONAL PARKS, MUSEUMS (AND PANDAS!): The country's national parks would be forced to close without a government funding deal

Parks! I think I have made my point here already (here and here)

2. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ON HOLD: The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says that the regulator would "effectively shut down" without a deal to fund the government.

8. WORKPLACE SAFETY: Most Labor Department investigations into workplace safety and discrimination would cease if a deal is not reached to avert a shutdown.

6. FOOD SAFETY: Most routine FDA food safety inspections would be suspended in the case of a shutdown.

This is just playing on the public's ignorance of how these agencies operate.  I suppose there are low information voters out there who think that EPA officials are stationed at each plant with binoculars looking for emissions and once they get furloughed, companies will race to dump a bunch of stuff while they are not looking.  Monitoring is all by data reporting on these issues.  The departments conduct audits and investigations retroactively.  Delaying these investigations that can take years does absolutely nothing in real time to change health or safety.  As for routine food safety inspections, these happen on a timetable of weeks or months, so that a few days delay in an inspection that occurs every 90 days or so is not going to make a difference.

10. STOCK MARKET PANIC: The stock market reacted negatively on Monday amidst worries about a shutdown and an upcoming fight to raise the country's debt ceiling. The lack of a resolution could mean more market madness to come.

Dow up 20 points, S&P up about a half percent as I write this.

7. NO BACK PAY: Employees of one U.S. attorney have been warned that there is a "real possibility" they may not receive back pay if the government shuts down.

Holy crap!  Government workers might not get paid for not working.

11. DOJ DISRUPTION: Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday warned that a shutdown would have a "disruptive impact" on operations at the Justice Department. He pointed fingers at the House of Representatives and stated that there are "good, hard-working Americans who are going to suffer because of this dysfunction."

This is hilarious.  A partisan rant from one of the most partisan knife-fighters in the Administration is not data, and in fact there is no detail at all here.  As it turns out, the DOJ is mostly NOT affected except for some civil litigation, where cases that already drag on for years might take a week longer to complete, and a few lawyers may lose a few days of pay

Under the Justice Department's contingency plan for the shutdown, civil litigation will be curtailed or postponed. The employees of many DOJ agencies will be exempted from furloughs because their roles are deemed "essential."


  1. ErikTheRed:

    So what he's saying is... there's no downside...?

  2. Mom:

    Government Shutdown! Best news I've heard in a long time.

  3. MingoV:

    I notice that agencies that do more harm than good (Homeland Security; Drug Enforcement Agency; Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Department of Agriculture; etc.) are minimally affected by the shutdown. It would have been nice if TSA screening disappeared. That would be a huge incentive to prolong the shutdown.

  4. windslow:

    I figure if the government is shut down, I can trash all those requests for data they send me. I'm still laughing over the TSA shutdown comment. If only.

  5. mesaeconoguy:

    Hey coyote, nice press release today – saw it hit the wire around noon.

  6. Maria:

    Well, NASA has a scheduled launch on Nov 18th for the Mars MAVEN mission. With a work stoppage they may miss the launch window. If MAVEN doesn’t launch, it’ll be 2016 before the worlds align again. So, given today is NASA’s 55th anniversary - happy birthday NASA, now 97% of you go home. (Of course the government doesn't much care about NASA anyway.)

  7. Matthew Slyfield:

    1. I just don't see the down side here.

    2, 8 & 6 "I suppose there are low information voters out there who think that EPA officials are stationed at each plant with binoculars looking for emissions and once they get furloughed, companies will race to dump a bunch of stuff while they are not looking."

    No, what you are supposed to think is that all the companies that these agencies monitor will be forced to shut down in the absence of government monitoring.

    10. The stock market is in a panic because they know the Republicans will cave as always.

    7. As with 1, I just don't see the problem here.

    11 There are "good hard-working Americans" who suffer because DOJ is dysfunctional. A few days without the DOJ will probably make their lives better.

  8. mesocyclone:

    #1 - real human beings get a little haircut - not good for them. But... hey, they got that cushy government job that pays better than the private sector and has vastly better job security. My little tiny violin is getting a workout.

  9. marque2:

    It would be nice if some president had the balls to do this. Just shut down the government and demand that each program be re-instated one by one after debate, and sections that are not really needed pulled out. Unfortunately you need an honest Press to do some of this. For instance shut down HUD the press is likely to screen how the congress hates the poor, rather than writing honest articles about how HUD really hurts the poor and would be better shut down.
    Dept of Education as well - all it does is make edicts for PC education and demands states to follow - states actually pay for their own education (with some exceptions for military children). But shut down DOE and the papers would scream how kids wouldn't be educated and how congress hates children, etc.

  10. norse:

    Gods, yes. Proof by example that they, too, are useless. I'd have loved to see flights depart with minimal hassle and travellers reminded what freedom feels like. I agree with Warren that the "shutdown" is an interesting demonstration of how much useless overhead there is in governance.

  11. irandom419:

    I wonder if Gibson guitar can actually get something done without Eric The Holder stealing their stuff.